In the coming weeks as pitchers, catchers and position players report to spring training in Arizona and Florida, the sky will be awash with predictions for the 2012 MLB season.
While every team is still undefeated when it really matters, baseball “experts” will chime in on the teams and players that will make their marks this year. Whether you watch it on TV, read about it online or grab a magazine at your local newsstand, there won’t be a shortage of 2012 MLB forecasts.
Amongst all of those 2012 predictions, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that will tout the Los Angeles Dodgers as a serious playoff contender.
And that’s a good thing!
Why? Because being a MLB “expert” is akin to being a meteorologist. A weather person can predict things over a five-day period, and then when things go terribly wrong, they still keep their job because “things changed.”
Evidently, MLB experts went to the same school as most meteorologists. A glance at some MLB predictions over the past few years paints a frightening picture. Some of the most respected baseball writers and broadcasters in the industry haven’t just missed the boat with their annual predictions, they’ve missed the entire ocean!
ESPN’s Buster Olney is one of the most respected baseball writers in the business. He is routinely on the edge of breaking MLB news. Having a crystal cowhide ball, however, is not one of Olney’s strengths.
Over the past three years. Olney is 1-for-6 in predicting the participants of the World Series. In other words, if Olney says it’s going to rain, go ahead and plan your trip to the beach. In 2011 when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers to win the World Series, Olney predicted that the San Francisco Giants would defeat the Boston Red Sox.
The previous year wasn’t any better for Olney. He said that the Colorado Rockies would beat the New York Yankees in 2010, only to see the Giants beat the Rangers. In 2009, Olney told us that the Tampa Bay Rays would win the title over the Philadelphia Phillies (the Yankees beat the Phillies).
Tom Verducci is another very highly respected MLB writer and broadcaster. Verducci has been covering professional baseball for 30 years. That doesn’t mean that he has an inside track into the future, though.
Verducci’s MLB predictions for Sports Illustrated over the past three years have garnered him a stellar record of 0-6. In 2011 when the Cardinals beat the Rangers, Verducci had told us that the mighty Red Sox would beat the Giants.
In 2010, Verducci told us that the Phillies would defeat the Minnesota Twins. We all know that the Giants beat the Rangers that year. Verducci predicted that the Mets would outlast the Los Angeles (Anaheim!) Angels in 2009, but the Yankees really won the title over the Phillies.
What about the “experts” at the broadcasting outlet that is owned by Major League Baseball? Surely MLB Network has an inside track on picking the winners of an upcoming baseball season, right?
In 2011, all four former MLB players who appear on the MLB Network were dead wrong in predicting the World Series participants. While the Cardinals were beating the Rangers in the last season’s World Series, here is what the MLB Network guys said would happen:
• Mitch Williams – Red Sox over the Phillies
• Dan Plesac – Yankees over the Phillies
• Sean Casey – Red Sox over the Phillies
• Harold Reynolds – Atlanta Braves over the Yankees
So, as all of the 2012 MLB publications arrive before the new season begins, Los Angeles Dodgers fans need to cross their fingers in the hope that our boys in blue aren’t picked to appear in the World Series. That way we might actually have a fighting chance!